Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 2016/17

23 Jan 2017 - 4 Jul 2017

Thirty-odd years ago a group of intrepid musicians – Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) – broke away from the classical music establishment.

The OAE makes old music new, playing instruments from the period the music was written. In its hands, you hear as close as possible to what Bach or Beethoven envisaged. 

Craft beer for the ears

But what makes an OAE performance special? Think of it like drinking a lovingly-made craft beer over a mass-produced lager, or a Highland single malt over a supermarket own-brand. There’s an element of craft in everything it does.

The OAE plays on instruments from the period the music was written. Each concert needs hours of research to understand centuries of performance tradition, making old music new. Every performance is remarkable, and nothing is routine.

In 2016/17 The OAE plays music by many of the composers it has become famous for performing, including Mozart, Haydn and Bach. So if you’re new to the Orchestra, or if you’ve been coming for 30 years, we hope to see you at a concert soon!

Highlights include all of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Steven Isserlis performing Haydn’s lost cello concerto, Sarah Connolly singing songs by Berlioz and all of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performed over two nights with the orchestra conducted for the very first time by Masaaki Suzuki.

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Various times | 16 Dec 2016 - 20 Aug 2017
Climb into and get lost inside the eccentric world of Moominland
7:30 pm | 17 Aug 2017
Spoken word & Live literature
Acclaimed author and photographer Teju Cole explores connections between the visual world and written word
Various times | 30 Jul 2017 - 28 Aug 2017
MasterChef duo Billy and Jack bring their sell-out supper club to Southbank Centre


Various times | 18 Aug 2017 - 28 Aug 2017
Southbank Centre Market is a food lover’s perfect destination
Various times | 18 Aug 2017 - 20 Aug 2017
A spectacle of dance, music and film by Iceland Dance Company in collaboration with artists Ragnar Kjartansson and Matthew Barney.
Various times | 22 Jul 2017 - 26 Aug 2017
Start your day with sunshine and a stretch
Various times | 19 Aug 2017 - 20 Aug 2017
Tuck into a Swedish summer feast for all the senses


Various times | 19 Aug 2017 - 20 Aug 2017
Learn Swedish songs, make a crayfish bib and listen to live music
Various times | 6 Aug 2017 - 20 Aug 2017
Discover the architectural innovations of Europe’s largest art centre


Various times | 26 Aug 2017 - 28 Aug 2017
CANCELLED EVENT: Look on as street artists give the Southbank Centre site a makeover


Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:44
Celebrate the city with us this Bank Holiday at our annual Urban festival
Tue, 08/15/2017 - 08:42
Gender Politics & Equality
Introducing some of the figures who’ll be helping us try to identify what makes a man
Thu, 08/10/2017 - 00:00
See all-female hip-hop dance collective Myself UK in action
Wed, 08/09/2017 - 16:36
The eclectic label, feted by music-lovers, celebrates its tenth anniversary
Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:03
See highlights from China Changing Festival at Southbank Centre
Mon, 08/07/2017 - 16:18
Gender Politics & Equality
Global Culture & Ethnicity
From puppetry to political discussion, get the most out of October’s festival of contemporary Chinese culture.
Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:48
Listen to the writer reflect on fiction, friendship and capturing a changing world on the page
Tue, 08/01/2017 - 17:58
Spoken word & Live literature
Read more about the celebrated poet and novelist
Tue, 08/01/2017 - 15:48
Global Culture & Ethnicity
Try real Icelandic food at SCFood Market this summer
Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:35
Free, interactive artworks appear at Southbank Centre this summer
Wed, 07/26/2017 - 16:16
Watch an exclusive interview with the Turner Prize-winning sculptor
Wed, 07/26/2017 - 14:22
Contemporary Dance
Find out about three stunning performance pieces coming to Royal Festival Hall this August
Tue, 07/25/2017 - 11:41
Take a look at how refurbishments in our brutalist venues are progressing
Mon, 07/24/2017 - 17:00
Introducing some great places to grab a drink or a bite to eat by Southbank Centre
Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:38
See our list of traditional and much-loved children's reading from the Nordic countries.
Thu, 07/20/2017 - 17:04
The self-proclaimed Masterchef losers preview their Southbank Centre supper club
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:59
What does it mean to be an African man in the diaspora?
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:14
What chance do African nations have of thriving in the new global and political landscape?
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:05
How do feminists in Africa and the diaspora envision the continent’s future?
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 09:51
Folk & World
Enjoy a look back at some amazing moments from this year's festival.



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Luise Buchberger -What is right- SC1

Image Credit 
Photography – Angela Moore. Design and art direction –Lucienne Roberts
25 Sep
Classical music
Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? The OAE explores Judas and Christ’s last days

Cecelia Bruggemeyer -Is love what you think it is- SC2

Image Credit 
Photography – Angela Moore. Design and art direction –Lucienne Roberts
18 Oct
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The OAE performs Handel’s steamy, shocking opera Semele
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Series discounts are available for a number of our selected Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment concerts, receiving between 15% - 25% discount depending on the number of concerts being booked. 

To receive your series discount, tickets to all the applicable concerts must be purchased in the same transaction - just add more events to your basket to get the discounts below.

  • Save 15%: Book 2 - 3 Concerts
  • Save 20%: Book 4 - 7 Concerts
  • Save 25%: Book 8+ Concerts

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